This is a home page for a collection of information, documents and WWW links related to my activities and interests. I strongly encourage anyone to provideComments.
Little of the Tall Grass Prairie that covered the northern and western part of Ohio remains, but some patches still exist. Click Prairie Flowers for some images taken in early July of 1998. Wildflower pictures from the summer of 2000 are availablehere
There is a growing conflict between the farmers and the city folks who are building their homes in rural Madison County. Click Conflict for some details.
My Favorite Things at Wright State.
My classical guitar master class. The classical guitar piece playing on this web page is the Romance for Guitar that I played at the master class.
Click Hammered Dulcimer Resources
From The Jungles Of Paraguay is subtitled: John Williams Plays Barrios. Barrios being Agustin Barrios. The is the most sublime classical guitar I have ever heard. The compositions are gorgeous and John Williams plays them effortlessly. This music is not to be missed, even if you are not a fan of classical guitar.
Between Here and Gone by Mary Chapin Carpenter. MCC is returning to her folk song roots with this beautiful new CD. This plays to all the strengths of her unique voice. Especially notable is the My Heaven track. And Grand Central Station is THE song about the tragedy of the World Trade Center. It just breaks your heart!
Retrospective by Suzzane Vega. I love this CD. I just wonder why it took me so long to find this singer! Try it! Buy it!
Stumbling into Grace by Emmy Lou Harris is WONDERFUL. Just out, this is full of songs that Emmy Lou wrote or co-wrote. 40 years later her vice is beautiful. Usually I have a favorite song or two. All the songs on this one are my favorite!
"10" by Kate Rusby is a retrospective CD that is wonderful. Ann Williams, formerly of WYSO, was a huge fan of Kate and introduced me to here music. If you like folk/acoustic music, listen to this singer/ songwriter.
Ireland, A Novel by Frank Delaney is a painless way to learn Irish history. The plot that threads the stories together seems a bit thin and possibly predictable, but the ending certainly isn't. This is well worth a read.
When the Light Goes by Larry McMurtry is a novel about loss, real and imagined, and how we humans react to it. McMurtry's writing just gets better and better. I as the same age as Duane Moore, the main character, but I think there is a message here for readers of all ages. This is the latest in the series centered on the fictional Thalia (Archer City in real life) and the last in this location. There is no one of real interest left in Thalia at the end. But life does go on and I expect another Duane Moore book somewhere in the future. There is a lot more descriptive sex and relationships than in a usual McMurtry novel. And if you are unhappy with the f word, don't even pick it up. Change is hard for everyone, even fictional characters!
Telegraph Days by Larry McMurtry is a wonderful old west tale that come closer to the truth than any other I have ever read. The main character is a woman who is acquainted with all the icon males in the old west. Her perspective and opinions ring very true. Everyone should love this novel with the possible exception of those who consider the Earp brothers minor deities.
God Laughs and Plays by David James Duncan is subtitled "Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right". It is that and much more. I think Mr. Duncan manages say something upsetting to many different groups. This accounts for the less than glowing reviews of this work. But the message is love for all this world and even his opponents. Especially wonderful are the chapters "No Great Things..." and Agony & Hilarity.
New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu celebrates so clearly what has been lost when Katrina took aim at the heart of this city. The Bush Administration's continuing disinterest has finished the job. And we are all diminished by this loss. When asked what was the most important thing that was lost, Andrei replied: "The music teachers". Music is at the heart of the old New Orleans.
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is one of the most profound books written in the decade of the 90's. This is a novel that explores the question of why we do not know how we should live our lives. The subtitle is An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit. The story strongly reinforces the ideas that it presents. Sadly this does not seem to be a widely read book and we are all the poorer for that. Find a copy of this book and read it. Then tell all of your friends to read it. It is that important.
Scrolling Forward by David Levy begins to answer my question: "What will happen to books in the internet age?" Levy is the perfect person to delve into this subject with his PhD in computer science and his study of bookmaking and calligraphy. This book provides the best overview of writing and printing that I have ever encountered. Best of all he gives me hope for the future. You can't ask any more a one book!
The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig is the best piece of fiction I read in 2006. This beautifully written novel is set in the early 20th century in Montana. The characters are so finely drawn and so real that I can give them names from people in my own life. Doig is a Seattle based writer that has been writing for some time. This is his 11th book. I predict that I will read many of his other books in 2007.
the ONLY KAYAK by Kim Heacox is a meditation on Glacier Bay, Alaska and the 25 years that the author has lived there. With passion and humor Heacox describes the wild and beautiful place and the efforts that he and his friends have made to defend its unique wilderness. Add this to your reading list if you care about preserving our wilderness.
Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin is the second novel in her series, Annals of the Western Shore. We need a new series from Ms. Le Guin and I am not even embarrassed to be seen looking in the young adult section of the library searching for them! The topics in this book are very applicable to the mess we find ourselves in Iraq, but I don't think our fearsome leaders will be looking here for answers here. This is a great read and just plain fun.
Home Ground edited by Barry Lopez. The subtitle, Language for an American Landscape, is a wonderful book that really cannot be read. This is a book that must be referenced as the occasion arises. This book explores the words that are used to describe our landscape. A large and diverse set of authors have contributed definitions for the entries. I found the answer to a a nearly 60 year old question in reading this: "Why are there so many rocks in the fields on our farm?" No matter how many you remove, even more appear the next year! The farm is located on the Till Plains of Ohio, till being the rocks the left behind by the glaciers. As the entry says, you don't till the till! You till the soil that covers the till.
Rogue River Journal is a fascinating mixture of compassion, humor and compelling honesty. Those engaged in our national dialog could learn much from the author, John Daniel. There are two intertwined threads in the essay; a journal of 5 months the author spent alone on the Rogue River in Oregon and the search for the identity of both the author and his father. I am astonished at the depth of John Daniel's research. Few of us are capable of asking old friends what we were like 30 or 40 years ago and actually listening carefully to the answers. This is the most thoughtful analysis of the psychodelic 60's I have yet read. Most writers fall back on the old canard: "If you remember the 60's, you weren't really there!" I am astonished at the number of things in my life that resonate with the author's life, right down to Sor's Study in B Minor for classical guitar. I am normally read at a very quick pace, but I took nearly a month to read this book. I didn't want to miss something in my haste.
Click Music, Books and Performances for past reviews of music, books and performances.
Great theater at reasonable prices is available at Stratford on Avon in Ontario, Canada. Our tickets averaged $44 US last year and were a bargain for the wonderful performances. Click Stratford for some pictures of the town.
New Movie Reviews
Dayton, Ohio Home Page